Hempel transforms a local icon in Wuppertal

If you go to Wuppertal, you will not be able to miss its local landmark: a 66m derelict gas tank right in the heart of the town itself, an undeniable feature of the urban landscape. It was built between 1950 and 1952 but as of 1997 it was used as storage for a gas power station, before falling out of use. The tank’s owner, (Stadtwerke Wuppertal) was keen to see it removed, although it had become something of an icon to all those residents living within sight of it.
Hempel and painting specialist Massenberg were invited by the investor Gaskessel Wuppertal GmbH to inspect the corrosion protection system. The key question was whether a costly re-blasting and removal of the existing system would be suitable, or would it be possible to maintain what was already there? Ultimately, the tank had become too rusty to allow its existing paintwork to stand as it was. An added challenge was the fact the tank is right in the middle of a residential area, which would make issues around avoiding dust and noise pollution even more pressing.
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The project owner, Gaskessel Wuppertal GmbH, selected Hempel to supply the paints because it had already had positive experiences of using our protective coatings. These were applied by Massenberg, a local company with experience of working with historical industrial buildings, using either airless spray or brush and roller depending on the section. We selected Hempadur 45143 for the surface tolerant primer and intermediate coatings as it has been used as a maintenance system for older paintwork for many years because it works with abrasive blasted, mechanically treated surfaces. Hempathane TL87/EG 87480 was used as a topcoat, in keeping with the architects’ idea to use MIO colours. By applying this Hempadur/Hempathane system on top of historical paintwork, we have created a future-proof system which will be easier to maintain over the years.
From now on the gas tank will function as cover for a new building. The area will then be used for restaurants, fitness, events and exhibitions, making the gas tank a significant part of the district and the city of Wuppertal once again – and securing Hempel’s place as a regenerating force within the city.
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